Tonight is my 10 year high school reunion. Since I’m typing this pantsless from my bedroom and NOT from a beerstank-filled biker bar in Gillette, Wyoming, you know that I wasn’t able to go.
Five months ago when the student council president started sending out facebook messages and formal invitations, I really wanted to attend. I had quite the high school fantasy going in my brain. In my mind’s eye I’d be back for the reunion, completely lacking the dread and ennui I’m presently filled with about the whole situation, maybe making awkward small chat with my former classmates in the cafeteria of the high school. We’d all be kind of shy at first, greeting our besties from pottery class or english. But then, in this fantasy, after we’d had more to drink, things would get friendlier. Maybe I would actually talk to some of the girls I idolized, the girls who played volleyball and acted nonchalant around boys like it was nothing at all. In my fantasy, many of us have gone off to do cool things. Many of us have families, some don’t. Some work for funky start-up companies, others of us work for the government or a coal mine or are getting a PhD.
I told this fantasy to several people who had gone through their own 10 year reunions and by the look on their face, I knew it wasn’t a likely scenario. Then I learned that even if the fantasy could be reality, because of work, I would be unable to go. So I gave up my fantasy of being cool in high school.
The RSVPs started rolling in on the facebook event and not a single one of my close friends are attending. Among the webs of friendships and cliques and clubs evident on the list of attendees, I didn’t see myself blending in at all. None of these people were in my english class. There would be no Tessa, Kelly, or Jill. No Cory or Meagan. Definitely no Jessi or Kari or Amanda if only for the fact that they did not graduate in 2000. It’s not that the people attending are uncool or anything it’s just that I can’t see myself running up to any of them, wanting to become friends again after all these years. We weren’t really friends to begin with. A smattering of “the popular crowd” have marked Yes to all of the events – happy hour at Jake’s Tavern, and a BBQ at The Fishing Lake. But I stared into their tiny glazed eyes, searched their poorly-privatized profiles, and couldn’t find a compelling reason to spend the weekend in Gillette.
I almost feel left out. I can’t blend so easily into that church-going, four-wheeling, NObama crowd. Sure, I’d try but I’d end up trying too hard. Or I would end up seeming aloof because that is what my shyness often showed itself as in high school. So that would be fun: people I was vaguely friends with, three sheets to the wind, telling me they USED to think I was such a snob. Forget the fantasy, because that is exactly what would happen. Then we’d all go eat mozzarella sticks at Perkins (which would be kind of awesome).
So no, I am not at my 10 year high school reunion. I’m in Chicago, where I have lived for the last 10 years, sitting in my bed in a home I’ve made with my husband and my child and high school seems light years away.